Feb. 28, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second consecutive week Florida State has earned ACC Baseball Player of the Week honors, thanks to the performance of senior All-American Mike McGee.
McGee’s breakout performance sparked the Seminoles (7-0) to four consecutive victories, capped by a three-game sweep of Hofstra. Over the four-game stretch he batted .600 (9-for-15) with 11 RBI, nine runs scored, a double and his first two home runs of the season. In the process, the Port St. Lucie, Fla. native raised his average 240 points to .440.
Chalk it up to perfect timing as the Seminoles, who climbed to No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week, head to Tampa to take on No. 1 Florida (7-0) at Steinbrenner Field in the second game of Tuesday’s Florida Four Classic (7 p.m., CSS).
“You never really know what you’re going to get,” McGee said of the first of four regular season meetings between the Seminoles and Gators. “They’re a really good team; we’re a good team. It’s going to be a hard-fought game. You know it’s going to be an aggressive ballgame and it’s going to be exciting. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.”
Florida State won four of five meetings between the teams last season, including an 8-5 elimination victory over the Gators in the College World Series. All five games were decided by five runs or less.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series 120-96-1, but the series is tied 7-7 in neutral site meetings. FSU won head-to-head matchups with Florida last season in Tampa, Jacksonville and Omaha, Neb.
“It’s always going to be a great game when we play those guys,” said FSU junior third baseman Sherman Johnson, who is coming off a 4-for-4 performance in Sunday’s series finale against Hofstra. It’s always going to be a great rivalry. They’re a great team this year, just like they were last year. “I know they’re going to be ready to play and I know we’re going to be ready to play. We’re just going to have to be ready to play our best baseball and hopefully we’ll get a `W’.”
FSU sophomore right-hander Scott Sitz (1-0, 0.00) will get the starting nod and square off against Florida right-hander Tommy Toledo (1-0, 0-0). Sitz earned a victory over the Gators in last season’s meeting in Tallahassee.
The Seminoles have reached double figures in hits in all seven games this season and are batting .363, while averaging 11.1 runs per game. It certainly doesn’t hurt that McGee got his bat going just in time to face the Gators. His first homer of the season was a grand slam in Saturday’s 16-3 win over Hofstra and he followed with a two-run shot in Sunday’s finale. He also made his debut on the mound this season on Sunday and needed just seven pitches to retire the Pride in order, which included a strikeout.